07/12/2022 by Crystal Taylor
Gearing Up for the Festive Season
Let’s not end this year with a financial bomb!
No matter what you’re celebrating, the end of the year always seems to sneak up on us and comes with many forgotten-about expenses. Gifts, events, dinners, parties — how can you get through this season without breaking the bank?
Make a List Budget (& Check It Twice!)
First thing’s first — set a budget for yourself. How much can you spend? What funds have you saved during the year for this purpose? What part of your regular monthly budget could you cut down on in order to have a bit more spending this month?
Don’t have a monthly budget? Create yours now using this tool.
Once you've determined the amount of money available, you'll need to prioritize what you want those funds to be spent on. Is the majority for gifts? Events? Meals? Now you have a plan. Next is the hard part, you need to stick to your plan. One of the best ways to keep yourself accountable to your budget is to track expenses as you go to ensure you're not overspending. And once you have reached your spending limit, STOP! Do not put yourself into debt, these celebrations are meant to be enjoyed, not cost you your financial future.
Keep Your Money on Your Mind – check out some of these budgeting apps
Tap Into Your Inner Elf
When funds are low or non-existent you may need to be creative. Group gifts, homemade items, and social experiences may take a bit more time but can save a lot of money if you're willing to put in the effort. Hosting friends and family is costly, take the time to consider the expense before committing. Choose the time of your event accordingly – mealtimes will cost more so maybe a mid-afternoon tea or later evening cocktail gathering will help limit spending. Keep it simple. Don’t just try to come up with ideas, first check your cupboards to see what you already have in the house and make your plan around those items.
If you do decide to host friends and family, instead of preparing and supplying all the food on your own, why not share the cost? Potlucks are a great way to get together for a meal without one person breaking the bank. If potlucks aren't your thing, perhaps creating an “experience night”, such as a wine tasting with each person bringing their favorite bottle, can help limit your expenses as the host. Or try hosting a paint night, games night, trivia night, or baking competition with your friends. Many of these events can be planned at home with minimal costs, (the dollar store is your friend!). Also, remember the size of your event will affect the bottom line, determine a reasonable number of people, and don’t over invite.
Get on the Nice List in 2023
Don’t forget, these expenses come around each year, so start planning early. Set up an extra savings account that you contribute to each paycheque, and take the financial stress out of your 2023 holiday season. Remember, putting aside $25 each paycheque is much less painful than having to come up with $600 at the last minute!
If all these suggestions seem out of reach for you financially, or the stress of the season is becoming unbearable, we are here to help. Contact the professionals at Crowe MacKay & Company Ltd., to discuss how to create a financially secure new year!